Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a Wanaka community-based native plant nursery that specialises in propagating plants of local origin (Upper Clutha region) and uses these plants for localised native habitat restoration. We work with local community groups, schools, organisations & businesses in the effort to promote hands-on community land care. 


Nursery Sessions - Nursery volunteer days are open to all members of the public and are held every Tuesday & Wednesday from 9am-12pm (Spring/Summer) and 1pm-4pm (Autumn/Winter). These volunteer sessions teach propagation/cultivation techniques, leading on to planting and nurturing of the young plants in the wild and are guided by our Nursery Manager. We provide Venus coffee, tea and snacks for all our volunteers and you also get the chance to soak in the views on our deck.


Planting Projects - Each year, we identify and undertake habitat restoration projects to create islands of new native bush and enrich existing areas to provide precious habitat for our local wildlife. Work at these planting projects takes the form of maintenance days (watering and weeding) and planting days (putting the plants into the ground). Project days are on Saturdays with maintenance during the summer and planting between May and November. Dates are advertised in the calendar below and in the Wanaka Messenger and Wanaka App.



It is great to announce that under Alert Level 1 there are no limitations

on the number of volunteers at our nursery and planting sessions.

Welcome back everybody.


We are continuing with some of the practices we adopted under

Covid-19 levels, as we found them to be beneficial.

We encourage you to:

  • Bring your own gloves, and drinking vessel

  • Wash your hands! We have 2 hand washing stations and hand sanitiser available

  • Stay away if you are unwell, or have been unwell in the 48 hours beforehand

  • Advise us if you become unwell and have attended a session

We also will be asking you to register for planting sessions you want to attned. This is to help plan our planting events, but if you decide to come and have not registered, then you are still welcome.

You can register via email (info@tekakano.org.nz) or via our Facebook page

June 2020

Volunteer Sessions - welcome back to "normal"

New Nursery Space looking organised

We so like the look of the new nursery space as it becomes organised - many thanks to the volunteer team who have been, and are, putting this in place.

January 2020

Honouring Andrew and Welcoming Kris

Andrew - our founding nursery manager has been integral in helping us come so far. With his dedication, warmth, humour, knowledge and enthusiasm and belief in all Te Kākano stands for he has been invaluable, and we wish him well as he leaves us.
We know our volunteers have appreciated Andrew's welcoming approach at our nursery and planting sessions, and all he has helped them achieve. Thank-you Andrew for all you have given us and we look forward to welcoming you as a volunteer when time allows.

We have appointed Kris Vollebregt as our new Nursery Manager.  Kris has extensive knowledge of our operations in a volunteer capacity and also as a relief manager in Andrew's absence, so we are in capable hands and look forward to working with her as the new nursery space takes shape.

January 2020


If you have queries contact info@tekakano.org.nz

Nursery Sessions:

Every Tues & Wed


October 1 - March 31: 9am - 12

April 1 - September 30: 1pm - 4pm

Please stay away if you are unwell or have been unwell in the 48 hours beforehand.

Planting sessions:

Saturday 11 July 2020 from 10am to 12pm, at Penrith Wetland, near the lakeshore, below the Penrith subdivision.

Meet at 10am at the wetland.
Please, bring your own cup, sturdy boots or gumboots. If you have them bring your own gloves and tools, but we will have some spare. We will provide a nice morning tea too.

Thanks to Protect our Winters NZ to sponsor some of the planting.

We encourage you to register, info@tekakano.org.nz or on our FB page

Next plantings: 25th July (Albert Town Lagoon), 8th August, 22nd August, 5th September (Diamond Lake), 19th September

Annual General Meeting:

Our AGM was postponed. The  documents that would have been presented are available here (scroll down to Trust documents).  The Trust is in a very good shape and there are no urgent matters to advise of.

Look at us now!

Our nursery expansion takes shape with perimeter fencing and groundwork complete. Next steps - irrigation system and wind protection. Exciting times.  Thanks to all involved.

TUFT and Puzzling World


Do you like the TUFT sticker?

Those wearing them have visited Puzzling World and contributed to their “Top Up For Trees” (TUFT) programme that Puzzling World launched recently to raise funds for Te Kākano.

Visitors can choose to pay an extra $1 on their admission and this comes directly to Te Kākano.  They receive a sticker and the satisfaction of helping our local habitat.

We are hugely appreciative of being the recipients of such a scheme and delighted that our values appeal to Duncan and his team at Puzzling World.  Their TUFT programme helps raise our profile as well as funds.

Puzzling World are also sponsoring our next planting at Diamond Lake – fantastic local support, thank-you.

Check out our new logo!

After 10 years since Te Kakano’s inception, we felt it was time to give our logo a fresh new look.
We have worked with Simon Larkin from Larkin Design, based here  in Wanaka, and have developed a logo that we think showcases well what we do.
We are proud of it and hope you will like it as much as we all do!

Funding Achieved for Nursery Expansion Stage 1


How exciting to announce that we now have the funds to achieve stage 1 of the nursery expansion. 

We wish to acknowledge direct funding from the Sargood Bequest, The Longview Environmental Trust, the Central Lakes Trust and the Otago Community Trust.  Their support is invaluable and has enabled the project to proceed.

We are currently working towards having contracts in place to start work as soon as practical with a target of being completed by October. 

We would like to acknowledge again the in-kind support from local businesses The Roading Company and Urban Reset Design

We also thank the Blennerhassets for granting us the use of a little more of their land as we push the nursery boundaries out further.

Update on the Riparian Planting Project

Last year we announced that Te Kākano had partnered with the Upper Clutha Lakes Trust to lead and commence Riparian planting for the Wanaka Water project, funded under the Ministry for the Environment's Freshwater Improvement Fund.  Time for an update!

The plantings that took place at the Glendhu Wetland Wildlife Refuge were part of that project. Our involvement means we will be planting 24,000 plants over the five year life of this project.  Yes, this is a lot of plants, but we have processes in place to handle the numbers and our community plantings remain our core focus.

We continue to use plants eco-sourced from within this region to ensure everything we do supports the traditional biodiversity of the region. Local nurseries, Matukituki Natives and Pukerau are providing plants where we cannot meet the demand.

We have developed site selection criteria to determine the suitability of potential locations against the prime objective of water quality improvement, and an MOU between parties for selected sites.  Such sites include those administered by our traditional partners QLDC and DOC, as well as some stream sides and wetlands on private land that feed into the rivers or lakes. Aspiring Environmental, have been developing Land Environment Plans with farmers around the lakes and are helping identify potential sites, and QLDC is helping identify areas for mitigating urban runoff impacts.

Te Kākano staff and volunteers have been busy propagating enough plants of suitable species, organising the planting and initial maintenance of these plants.  This work will be ongoing and where the numbers are beyond the Trust’s scope we will contract out plantings. Where a site is on private land, we will most likely use contractors to do the planting.

We believe that delivering the Wanaka Water Project helps us further enhance our ability to improve the biodiversity of the area through connecting people with the land.

Tagged for Monitoring

Some of our plants are now tagged so we can monitor growth at certain sites.  These tags are important, so when you are walking, watering, weeding or planting:

- if you find a tag that is not on a plant, please record where it is, the tag number and advise us.  

- if you find a dead or poorly performing plant that is tagged then leave the plant and tag in place, record where it is, the tag number and advise us.

We wish to thank Chris Kielgaard, Helen Clarke and Martin Unwin, for designing and implementing the monitoring system for us. We appreciate the time they have given us, and recognise we are fortunate to benefit from their hard work.

They have chosen one wet, one dry and one intermediate site for “intensive monitoring”.  At each of these sites 100 – 150 plants are tagged and at 1,2 and 5 years from planting, the trunk radius, height, wellness and mulching are measured and recorded.

Other sites have been selected for “standard monitoring”. At these we record the number and species planted, and take photos at specific photo-points.  At years 1 and 2 we recount the plants and take further photos.

The monitoring enables us to formalise what we know and have evidence to support our knowledge, and meet our recording obligations to funders.  It also gives new funders confidence in us.

Ecofund recognises our need

We have successfully applied to the Otago Regional Council's Ecofund and are one of the lucky recipients.
We are delighted and grateful for their support.
The ECO Fund supports community-driven projects that protect and enhance Otago's environment.
The grant will help to cover some of our daily running costs.

10 Years Strong - we are celebrating

Our 10th anniversary was celebrated at Bullock Creek with the sun shining on an enthusiastic turnout of about 70 people.  A speech or two, a commemorative planting of a beautiful matai, sponsorship from local businesses and of course a birthday cake all made for a great celebration.

Wanaka Sun Article

The News Article

Bullock Creek Video


River Story Finalist Award and Video

We are proud of the stunning sculpture we were awarded for being in the final three. Congratulations to the winners, the Oakley Creek project.

You can view a video (link below) that was made for the judging panel.  It has been a wonderful opportunity to gain more media exposure and to demonstrate what our volunteers achieve.  Many thanks again to the Cawthron Institute.



Madill Whanau


Mary Smit

Triple Glazing NZ

Anonymous donors

Crowe Horwath





A: Off Mt Aspiring Rd, Lake Wanaka

    PO Box 550, Wanaka 9343

Text: 021 298 1068 (Volunteer sessions, Nursery)

E: info@tekakano.org.nz (other enquiries)



John & Jill Blennerhassett

Sargood Bequest

© Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust